Scores and details from the 15 NJSIAA playoff games involving Shore Conference teams.

 

 

 

Saturday Nov. 21

NJSIAA Playoffs

Sectional Semifinals

Central Jersey Group IV

7-Jackson Memorial 56, 6-Steinert 10

The defending-champion Jaguars cemented a return trip to the sectional final by blasting the Spartans on the road.

Junior running back Mike Gawlik ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries to lead a Jackson rushing attack that ran for 367 yards. Senior quarterback Kyle Johnson ran for 118 yards and touchdown and senior fullback Connor Testa added 93 yards and a touchdown.

Jackson (7-4) will play top-seeded Brick Memorial (9-2) in the championship game.

Gawlik opened the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run that was set up by a 40-yard run by Johnson. A fumble on a punt return by Jackson gave Steinert a short field, and the Spartans quickly tied the game on a 15-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jordan Morrison. Another Jackson turnover on an interception led to a 22-yard field goal by Jordan Goodarz, putting Steinert up 10-7 with 6:17 left in the first half.

The Jaguars would answer immediately, however, with a five-play, 65-yard scoring drive to take a 14-10 lead. Gawlik had runs of 19 and 36 yards to set up his own 1-yard plunge with 4:20 left in the half. On the second play of the ensuring Steinert possession, senior defensive back Jared Calhoun intercepted Spartans quarterback Kyle Muller and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. Jackson led 21-10 at the half and never looked back.

An interception by Johnson early in the third quarter led to his own 47-yard touchdown run and a 28-10 lead. After a Steinert three-and-out, Jackson took a 35-10 lead when Johnson capped a five-play, 67-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to senior Vinny Lee. Johnson had an 18-yard run on the drive, and Gawlik put the ball in the Steinert red zone with a 29-yard run.

Testa made it 42-10 when he blocked a punt and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown, and another blocked punt late in the third quarter set up sophomore fullback Tom Pellone for a one-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter. Testa put the finishing touches on the blowout victory with an 87-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to play.

Jackson's defense held Steinert to 120 total yards and forced four turnovers on interceptions by Johnson, Calhoun, senior Kyle Lona and junior Nick Tremmel.

 

Friday Nov. 20

NJSIAA Playoffs

Sectional Semifinals

North Jersey Section 2, Group IV

1-Middletown South 41, 4-Middletown North 14

Senior running back Cole Rogers ran 242 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries as the Eagles (10-0) pulled away from the rival Lions (7-3) to reach a sectional title game for the fourth time in the last six seasons.

Rogers ran for a 28-yard touchdown in the first quarter and added scoring runs of 3, 33 and 4 in the second half. Senior quarterback Matt Mosquera threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Peerless and a 5-yard score to Tom Coffey in the first half.

Middletown North scored on a 2-yard touchdown run by senior Chad Freshnock to cut Middletown South's lead to 27-7 midway through the third quarter. After recovering the ensuing onside kick, junior quarterback Donald Glenn hit junior wide receiver Brendan Kube for a 45-yard touchdown.

Middletown North and Middletown South will play again next Thursday in their annual Thanksgiving Day game, which will also decide the Class A North division title.

In two weeks, Middletown South will go for its 10th sectional title when it takes on defending champion Phillipsburg. The Stateliners defeated Colonia 28-13 in the other semifinal.

 

Central Jersey Group V

1-South Brunswick 27, 5-Manalapan 21

South Brunswick quarterback Josh Liao hurried his team to the line of scrimmage, called an audible and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Jabbie as time expired to give the Vikings an incredible win over the Braves.

Manalapan was down 21-7 before rallying to tie the score in the fourth quarter. Sophomore running back Chris Maksimik scored the second of his two touchdowns to make it 21-14, and sophomore quarterback Luke Corcione fired a 23-yard touchdown pass to Reily Radosevich to knot the score at 21.

Corcione finished with 151 yards passing on 7 of 13 passing. Senior running back Marcus Salinas ran for 63 yards.

 

 

Central Jersey Group IV

1-Brick Memorial 28, 5-Allentown 7

The Mustangs (9-2) are back in the sectional finals for the first time since 2010 after taking down the Redbirds (6-5) a home.

Senior quarterback Tim Santiago ran for 136 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and also threw touchdown pass, and sophomore fullback Tony Thorpe ran for 169 yards and  a touchdown on 28 carries.

After falling behind 7-0 via a Rick Mottram 3-yard touchdown run for Allentown, Brick Memorial took quick lead an never looked back. Thorpe broke free for a 34-yard touchdown run to tie the score, and on the ensuing kickoff  Thorpe pounced on a fumble in the end zone for a 14-7 lead.

On the final play of the first half, Santiago connected with senior Elie Lavarin on a 23-yard touchdown pass for a 21-7 lead. Santiago's three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter clinched the trip to the championship for Brick Memorial.

The Mustangs will play the winner of Saturday's semifinal between seventh-seeded Jackson Memorial and sixth-seeded Steinert.

 

Central Jersey Group III

1-Rumson-Fair Haven 24, 5-Matawan 13

Junior quarterback Mikel O’Connor threw for two touchdowns and accounted for 189 total yards (117 passing, 72 rushing) to help lead the Bulldogs (9-1) past the Huskies (7-4) for the second time this season and into their third straight sectional final appearance. Rumson will play unbeaten Red Bank Regional in the Central Jersey Group III final.

O’Connor hit running back Matt Vecchiarelli for a nine-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-2 to open the scoring in the first quarter after he busted a 41-yard run to advance the ball to the Matawan 30 yard-line. He later hit running back Bryan Hess out of the backfield for 33 yards on a third-and-7 from the Huskies 40 and capped the drive by connecting with Hess for a four-yard touchdown pass on third-and-goal with 9:56 left.

Hess finished with 122 total yards, 68 of which came on a run down to the Matawan two yard-line that set up the Bulldogs’ second touchdown. Fullback Mike Ruane pounded the ball into the end zone on the ensuing play and gave Rumson a 14-0 lead after Thomas Chapin’s extra point with 7:52 left in the second quarter.

Chapin also drilled a 23-yard field goal to put Rumson ahead 17-0 with 7:30 left in the third quarter. O’Connor hit wideout John Kingdon up the seam for 56 yards to set Rumson up at the Matawan seven. O’Connor finished 6-for-9 through the air.

Matawan quarterback George Pearson went 10-for-17 for 178 yards through the air and hit wide receiver Alex Pierce for a 61-yard touchdown pass up the left sideline that cut Rumson’s lead to 24-13 with 2:53 left. Pierce also had a 36-yard catch on a jump-ball earlier in the game and finished with three catches for 102 yards.

Huskies running back Derrick Wiley carried 13 times for 80 yards to lead the Matawan rushing attack. Wide receiver Isaiah Phillip put Matawan on the board in the third quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run that cut Rumson’s lead to 17-7 with 5:00 left in the third.

Vecchiarelli also chipped in 62 rushing yards on 20 carries as the Bulldogs rolled up 221 yards on the ground on 41 attempts.

 

3-Red Bank 21, 2-Ocean 14

Senior wideout/safety Sadiq Palmer had 111 yards between rushing and receiving while scoring all three touchdowns as the  Bucs advanced to its first NJSIAA sectional final since 2003 with a 21-14 win on the road over the Spartans.

Red Bank (10-0) will now play old Ridge Road rival Rumson-Fair Haven, a two-time defending sectional champion, in the Central Jersey Group III championship game on the first weekend of December at a neutral site to be determined. The Bucs are gunning for their first state title in 40 years and their first 12-0 season in history.

Palmer caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from senior Jack Navitsky and had a pair of touchdown runs, including a 5-yard score with 9:24 left in the game that snapped a 14-14 tie. The Syracuse recruit also had 12 tackles and an interception on defense to help the Bucs beat the Spartans (8-2) for the second time this season.

Ocean had one last chance to try to tie it, but Red Bank stopped the Spartans on downs on fourth-and-10 with 1:34 remaining and then a 16-yard run for a first down by Palmer sealed the victory.

 

Central Jersey Group II

6-Raritan 42, 2-Delaware Valley 13

Senior running back Derek Ernst ran for over 200 yards and three touchdowns and junior quarterback Marc Carnivale threw two touchdown pass as the Rockets (5-5) continued their magical playoff run by storming the host Terriers (8-2) in Frenchtown.

Carnivale tossed touchdown passes to Jordan Smith and Jahciere Jones and Sean Ennis returned a fumble for a touchdown. Raritan took a quick lead on Delaware Valley and led 28-0 at halftime. The Terriers use the run-heavy single-wing offense, making a comeback attempt unlikely. Raritan eventually opened a 42-0 lead before Delaware Valley scored to late touchdowns.

The Rockets will play in their first sectional final since 2006 when they meet the winner of Saturday's game between A.L. Johnson and undefeated Lincoln in the championship game.

 

Central Jersey Group I

1-Shore 42, 4-Florence 0

The Blue Devils recorded their second straight shutout and extended their program-record winning streak to 18 games by defeating the Flashes (6-4) in blowout fashion.

Junior quarterback Matt Pennel ran for a short touchdown and threw touchdown passes of 34 and 31 yards to Duke Russo. Senior Josh Britton scored on a 30-yard touchdown run in the first half, and Mark Russo put the Blue Devils (10-0) up 35-0 w with a 33-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Junior Lukas Jackey added a 1-yard touchdown run late in the game.

Shore will play third-seeded Palmyra in the sectional final. The Blue Devils are the defending champions are are going for their seventh overall sectional championship. Palmyra stunned Keyport 35-34 after trailing 34-14 at halftime.

First, however, Shore takes on rival Rumson-Fair Haven on Thanksgiving Day. Rumson is in the Central Jersey Group III final.

 

3-Palmyra 35, 7-Keyport 34

The Panthers stunned the Red Raiders after trailing 34-14 at halftime to reach their fourth sectional final in program history.

Palmyra quarterback Max Smyth completed an 18-yard pass to Taj Harris, who fumbled he ball. It was picked up, however, by Kameron Kennedy, who ran the remaining 15 yards for the trying touchdown with six minutes left. The ensuing extra point held up as the winning score.

Keyport (6-5) took a 14-0 lead on a 53-yard touchdown run by Ky'Sun Pryor and a 19-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option from Desmond Underwood to Cody Young. The Red Raiders led 34-14 at the half after quarterback Chris Hogrefe threw a touchdown pass to Young.

Keyport was set to extend its lead before a fumble at the Palmyra five-yard line changed the complexion of the game. The Panthers (9-1) recovered, and on the next play Smyth hit Elijah Karnjay for a 95-yard touchdown pass to cut Keyport's lead to 34-28.

Palmyra will play top-seeded and undefeated Shore in the championship game.

 

South Jersey Group V

4-Toms River North 14, 1-Lenape 0

Junior quarterback Mike Husni ran for a short touchdown, senior running back Asante Moorer scored on a 37-yard run and Toms River North's defense recorded its second shutout of the season to put the Mariners into their first sectional final since 2007.

A scoreless game at halftime, Husni put Toms River North up 7-0 with 1-yard touchdown run that capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive midway through the third quarter. Moorer's touchdown run came with five minutes left and put the Mariners up by two scores.

Husni finished with 116 yards rushing and Moorer had 187 on 25 carries as the Mariners ran for over 300 yards as team.

Senior defensive lineman Dashon Copes was a one-man wrecking crew on defense with three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Junior linebacker Pete Laquaglia made double-digit tackles and junior defensive back Bryce Watts had three pass breakups. Toms River North held Lenape to under 50 yards of offense and allowed the Indians to gain just three first downs.

The Mariners will take on Williamstown in the title game at Rowan University on the first weekend in December. The Braves edged Cherokee 27-21 in overtime. Toms River North's last state title came in 2007 when it went 12-0.

 

Non-Public Group III

1-St. John Vianney 49, 5-Red Bank Catholic 6

The Lancers trounced the Caseys to remain undefeated and reach their first sectional final since 1980.

Senior quarterback Anthony Brown threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 59 yards and a score to give him 41 total touchdowns this season. Junior running back Chris Chukwuneke ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns while senior wide receiver Mike Stapert caught two passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Jeff Sheard had two carries for 100 yards and also caught a 12-yard touchdown pass. Sophomore Zyaire Sterling added a 12-yard touchdown run.

Senior linebacker Calvin Beaty and junior linebacker Tyler Tedeschi led a defensive effort that held Red Bank Catholic (8-3) to one touchdown and 241 yards of offense. The Lancers also intercepted RBC quarterback Eddie Hahn four times -  two by senior Marcque Ellington, one by Brown and another by sophomore Samuel East - and sacked him four times.

The Caseys touchdown came on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Hahn to Zack Bair.

St. John Vianney will go for its second sectional title and first since 1980 against the winner of Saturday's game between Delbarton and DePaul.